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National Institute on Drug Abuse -  NIDA NOTES
Bulletin Board
Volume 13, Number 3 (July, 1998)

New Members Join NIDA's National Advisory Council

Four new members have been approved by Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Donna E. Shalala to join NIDA's National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, which provides direction and oversight for the Institute's scientific programs and policies. The Council meets three times a year and provides the second level of review for NIDA grant applications. Members include experts in health and scientific disciplines related to drug abuse, public policy, health policy, law, economics, and management.

The four new members began their terms at the Council meeting in May. The new members are:

  • Dr. Hortensia de los Angeles Amaro, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health and commissioner of the Boston Public Health Commission;

  • Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell, president of the Encounter Medical Group, P.C., Oak Park, Illinois, and medical director of the Treatment Alternatives to Special Clients Foundation, Chicago;

  • Dr. Rand D. Conger, a professor of sociology and psychology at Iowa State University and director of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, Ames, Iowa; and

  • Dr. Gerald H. Friedland, director of the AIDS Programs at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and a professor of medicine, epidemiology, and public health at the Yale School of Medicine.


Director Named for NIDA's Medications Development Division

Dr.

Dr. Frank Vocci

Dr. Frank J. Vocci, Jr., has been named director of NIDA's Medications Development Division (MDD). Since April 1996, Dr. Vocci has served as the Division's acting director.

As Division director, Dr. Vocci oversees MDD's research to identify, evaluate, and develop new medications to treat drug dependence and addiction and other brain and behavioral disorders. The Division also ensures that medications are developed to meet the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) requirements for approving new drugs. To ensure that the research and review of promising new treatment medications are conducted expeditiously, the Division works closely with FDA, academic centers, and pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

A pharmacologist with 20 years of experience studying the pharmacology and toxicity of new drugs, Dr. Vocci first joined NIDA in 1989 as chief of MDD's Developmental Therapeutics Branch. Before coming to NIDA, he reviewed new drug applications for FDA. He has served as a guest researcher in the Clinical Neurosciences Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health.


New NIH Review Groups

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has created 21 new study sections that are responsible for reviewing a wide range of basic and clinical neuroscience grant applications. The study sections are part of NIH's new Center for Scientific Review (CSR), formerly the Division of Research Grants. Most new investigator-initiated neuroscience grant applications seeking NIDA support will now be reviewed initially by the new study sections, which have been organized into three Initial Review Groups:

  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Neuroscience Review Group (MDCN - sic). This group reviews applications on the basic molecular and cellular biology of nerve, muscle, and other excitable cells and their development. Emphasis is on cell function or dysfunction, including that relevant to neuroadaptive and addiction processes.

  • Integrative, Functional, and Cognitive Neuroscience Review Group (IFCN). The IFCN group reviews applications that further understanding of how the nervous system is organized and how it functions at an integrative systems level. Among the areas reviewed are the neural bases of emotional and motivational behavior; the development of memory, learning, and other cognitive processes; the regulation of function by neuroendocrine influences; and stress and neuroadaptation. Emphasis is on the effect of the disease process on the structure or function of the system being investigated.

  • Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience Review Group (BDCN). This group reviews applications relating to the anatomical and functional bases of neural disorders, including drug abuse and injury across the lifespan. Emphasis is on the neural substrate; functional consequences, including cognitive, sensory/motor, behavioral, and pathophysiological; addictive disorders; rehabilitation; and the development of therapeutic strategies.

For information about each study section's review responsibilities, visit the CSR World Wide Web site at http://www.csr.nih.gov/. Click on Referral & Review, then click on Initial Review Groups. Questions about the study sections should be directed to Dr. Carole Jelsema for the MDCN Review Group, (301) 435-1248; Dr. Larry Stanford for the IFCN Review Group, (301) 435-1255; and Dr. Joe Marwah for the BDCN Review Group, (301) 435-1253.

NIDA NOTES - Volume 13 Number 3

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